Yes, this analog synth thing seems to have played out rather well, don’t you think? There was a time when it seemed like every band tried to boost their coolness or get an extra indie point or two with an old Moog or Korg they dug up at the local pawnshop. After all, you can make all sorts of cool sounds with it, and it gives you that swank retro sound. And I wondered if Churchbuilder are any different. But sometimes, just sometimes, it takes a single song to change your mind. That song was “Microdancer.”
Remember that first Rentals record? Well, this is sort of like that, but with (thankfully) more naiveté and enthusiasm. There’s not a “too cool for you” bone in the bands’ collective body. There’s no attempt to make these songs sound like they’re being performed by robots or corporate drones. And it paid off. All it took was 15 seconds before I knew that “Microdancer” would be it for me. Like Godzuki or Scientific with a light disco fetish, “Microdancer” takes delicious analog flutterings, a funky beat, and dreamy female vocals… well, what more do you need?
As with most things on Shelflife, the rest of the EP is mostly short, sweet, and ultimately fluffy. But in Churchbuilder’s case, that’s a definite plus. Music like this should be short and sweet, otherwise it wears out its welcome.
The “Spanish Song,” not surprisingly, finds vocalists Erin Carracher and Denise Grollmus singing in Español, presumably about love, spring, and long walks in the park over swirling Moogs and a snappy beat. “New Critics” starts out as a reprise of “Spanish Song,” with the analog synths’ “Just Woke Up In The Morning And Still Feeling Sleepy” setting at its highest. Meanwhile, Carracher and Grollmus singing such lovelorn epics as “What can I say to make you feel the same way?/What can I do to prove to you that nothing’s due?” Trite? Yes, but guiltily pleasurable.
All in all, a delightful little EP that hit all of my right buttons.